Now that school is back in session for another year here in the Sioux Empire, I have a quick question for all the students, parents, and educators, can we please see a show of hands on who would be in favor of the Sioux Falls School District switching to a 4-day school week?

At first mention, I would imagine most would say (especially the students), heck yeah, four-day school weeks, let's do it! But is it really such a good thing?

Many school districts across the nation are heading in that direction. As a matter of fact, a few rural South Dakota districts have made a move already to a shorter school week.

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Custer South Dakota was the first South Dakota School District to jump into the four-day week school pool. They actually transitioned into a four-day learning week back in 1995. Since that time, the South Dakota Department of Education reports that 35 of the state's school districts have switched to a four-day curriculum week.

Some of these smaller school districts elected to make a move to a four-day school week to save in transportation costs, non-essential staff hours, building utilities, and food costs.

Some educators might find the prospect of a shorter school week more attractive. It may even help with staffing shortages some districts are experiencing at this time.

Would the average parent be on board with the idea? I'm not so sure. For some parents, increased daycare costs would definitely be a huge burden.

And I hate to disappoint all of you students reading this, but moving to a four-day school week doesn't mean you get to spend less time in the classroom. (Cue the Price is Right Losing Horn sound effect!)

To compensate for shorter school weeks, many districts have adjusted their style of teaching by doing things like; starting classes 10 minutes earlier during a regular school day and extending the school year by an extra week.

In the end, the cumulative hours at the end of each school year must be met, despite what type of school week a district elects to implement.

Regardless, here in South Dakota, the option for a shorter school week exists for districts to choose. And I'm sure it will continue to be discussed at great length on many different levels in the days, weeks, and years to come.

Source: South Dakota Department of Education

Flashback 1992: Inside Sioux Falls Old Washington High School

The modern marvel that is YouTube never ceases to amaze me. Sure, there's plenty of garbage there, but you can also find some gems.

Like this video from 1992. It's a sort of video time capsule of the old Washington High School in Sioux Falls. If you came to The Queen City in the last couple of decades, you may only know the building downtown as the Washington Pavilion, a center of Sioux Falls arts and culture.

Before it was the Pavilion, the corner of Main Avenue and 11th Street in Sioux Falls was home to many of the city's schools for most of the 20th century.

Built on the site of the former Central School, WHS's first class of 328 students started in 1908. It was the only high school in Sioux Falls until Lincoln High was completed in 1965.

The class of 1992 was the last class of Sioux Falls to graduate from the old Washington High. That fall the new WHS, constructed on N. Sycamore Ave on the east side of the city, took over the name and educational mission.

Check out the shots below for a flashback to 1992.

SEE: Sioux Falls New Jefferson High School




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